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Luke Aikins (born November 21, 1973)[1] is an American professional skydiver, BASE jumper, pilot, and aerial photographer. He is the first person to intentionally dive from mid-tropospheric altitude and land safely without a parachute or a wingsuit and the second skydiver to intentionally and safely land without using a parachute.[5][6][7][nb 1]

Luke Aikins
Born (1973-11-21) November 21, 1973 (age 45)
ResidenceGraham, Washington, U.S.[2]
OccupationSkydiver, pilot, stuntman, photographer
Years active1985–present
Known forFirst person to intentionally skydive without a parachute or a wingsuit and survive
Spouse(s)Monica Lee Aikins[3]
ChildrenLogan (son)[4]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Aikins has coached United States Navy SEALs and NASCAR's Brian Vickers, and has advised the military on skydiving techniques.[9][10] He is also a safety and training advisor for the United States Parachute Association.[10][11] He is also an aerial photographer and his photos have been published in major magazines and newspapers.[1] He has completed more than 18,000 jumps since he started skydiving at age 12.[12]

In 2012, he helped skydiver Felix Baumgartner jump from a helium balloon in the stratosphere at 120,000 feet (36,576 m).[13][14] Aikins also worked on stunts in the film Iron Man 3.[15]

July 2016 jumpEdit

External video
  Heaven Sent Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent: A Mad Intense Jump
  Local news interview Luke Aikins 25,000-Foot Freefall[16]

On July 30, 2016, Aikins jumped from an aircraft without any parachute or wingsuit at an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 m) above Simi Valley, California, watched by a live audience. After about two minutes of free fall he successfully landed in a 100-by-100-foot (30 by 30 m) net just outside of Simi Valley, California.[17][5] Aikins reached a terminal velocity of 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) during the fall.[15] The net was made from Spectra, a high-density polyethylene cord.[18] It had four compressed air cylinders designed to gently slow him down after impact.[18]

Although several news articles headlines describe Aikins achievement by focusing on the fact that he jumped and went to freefall without parachute, many others have jumped from aircraft without having a parachute when they departed the plane - they were either handed a parachute by a fellow jumper while in freefall or maneuvered to a container carrying a parachute, with first successes dating back to 1965.[19] Others have jumped out of an aircraft and returned to the same or another aircraft without making use of parachute.[20][21]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The first skydiver to jump and land without using a parachute was Gary Connery in 2012 who wore a wingsuit to aid his landing.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Luke Aikins". Red Bull. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. ^ Campbell, Ricky (July 30, 2016). "'Heaven Sent' Luke Aikins: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  3. ^ Dunlap, Tiare (July 26, 2016). "Meet the Husband and Father Who's Skydiving from 25,000 Feet Without a Parachute". People. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  4. ^ "Skydiver Luke Aikins makes parachute-free jump". CBS News.
  5. ^ a b Rogers, John (July 31, 2016). "Skydiver becomes first person to jump and land without chute, a net was used,". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  6. ^ "Skydiver to jump from plane without a parachute on live TV". The Guardian. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  7. ^ "Skydiver becomes first person to jump and land without chute". Herald & Review. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  8. ^ Cooper, Charlie (May 23, 2012). "Gary Connery lands safely after 2,400 ft helicopter jump without parachute". The Independent. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Contracting Profile: Para Tactics LLC Shelton WA". govtribe.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Skydiver becomes first person to jump and land without a parachute". Mashable. Associated Press. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Staff. "Profile – Luke Aikins | D-21189". parachutistonline.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  12. ^ Astor, Maggie (July 30, 2016). "Skydiver Survives Jump From 25,000 Feet, and Without a Parachute". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  13. ^ "Luke Aikins". Red Bull Stratos. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  14. ^ Levine, Aaron (July 18, 2016). "Graham's Luke Aikins prepares for 25,000-foot jump without a parachute". KCPQ. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "World first: Skydiver plummets 25,000 feet -- with no parachute". CNN. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Daredevil survives 25,000-foot jump without chute over Simi Valley | Video". Ventura County Star. Associated Press. July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  17. ^ "Skydiver Luke Aikins Lands History-Making Jump From 25,000 Feet – With No Parachute or Wing Suit – For "Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent"" (Press release). Mondelez International. July 31, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016 – via PR Newswire.
  18. ^ a b "This Man Jumped Out of a Plane With No Parachute". National Geographic. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  19. ^ "Jumping without a parachute". The Washington Post. August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "Plane to Plane Exchange". Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "Wingsuit History". Retrieved October 12, 2018.

External linksEdit